Session 2: Digital History (11:30-12:20)

Digital History Projects 11:30-12:20

Some projects that got us started in digital history

Angela- US Holocaust Museum project Children of the Lodz Ghetto

Dan- Salem Witch Trials social network analysis

Jenna- Digital art history

Kate- tracking Shakespeare acting troupes

Glenn- PBS digitizing clips

Seth- Eleanor Roosevelt Papers looking to publish online


What is digital history- definitions

Using a broad definition to include collaboration and inter-disciplinary methods

New York Public Library Building Inspector- old maps to graph them, has a mobile version- crowdsourcing

Red Lining Project- mapping existing geography for areas red lined by banks

Lots of things are included in digital history

Finding sources born online- an old blog can disappear

Article on problem of Adobe Flash- multiple versions and capturing things on multiple levels of file versions

Archeology of Geocities

Maintaining projects- avoiding the 404 error

Funding issue

How to avoid this problem?

Projects that aren’t accessible to the public

Eleanor Roosevelt Papers- working on accessibility

Putting things online

Vast collections and maintaining that information through a database

Providing the public with the needs to meet their needs

Permission to release information

NYPL- beaker that shows how all digitized collections are connected- time, place, etc…

Learning how to combine disciplines- how to code

Making your project your own but using cross disciplines without jeopardizing your vision

Maybe multiple databases and making them open

Do no harm approach to creating content- opensource software, awareness of copyright, standard description

Insular culture of coding on your own that might make it harder for others to use the project- Good digital history practices

Serve your purpose and serve others through standardization

Retrospective conversion

Sheer number of software outthere to use that create their own parts but not the core. A 101 database for dummies to learn digital history projects

Metadata and software standards- some bibliographies give sites to help with that

Archive of digital history as a master catalogue

Discussing what best practices for digital history would be

White House Office of Science and Technology looking at big data projects- proposals must include support for reuse of the project- maybe using standard formats or reputable digital repositories that has standards to submit

Do No Harm Principle- don’t make it too difficult that no one would want to be involved, the goal is to promote secondary usage

International organizations and programs designed to promote a longstanding lifecycle of materials- digitized or born digital

More repositories and digital archives

Ask before starting to take advantage of repositories to design the project

Before standards- look at different projects

Folger- Shakespeare document- bring scholarship to a website for everyone but everyone at each level wants different things

Citations are different at organizations and conversations need to reflect the numbers of groups so one standard may be too much to ask for- appropriate practice of digital history

Figure out who the audience is and what they want- text, image, object, and encourage visiting to see something or use digital methods to show objects archives can’t let you see

Librarians and digital historians at a different perspective

Communication issue that THATCamp can help fix

Omeka used in some spheres and not mentioned as much in others- what platforms are used

Digital exhibitions, collections catalogue, press releases, events calander- not useful on Omeka or at least IT departments don’t think of Omeka as a resource

Omkea map project- digital history class

Reasonable accessibly- free to a limit of data and less expensive than other sources

How do you predict who sees the site?

Google analytics to see if the audience they want is already there- who visits a site?

UMD- analytics to see who looks at databases- a large viewership from Japan due to a collection related to WWII at the time and then that information helped them consider making the site more accessible to that audience

British Museum- on this day/artifact of the day with an extension saying “explore this collection”

Social media can bring the audience that way- tweets, Facebook posts, etc…

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About Angela Spidalette

I am a junior at the George Washington University studying archaeology and classical studies. I have participated in projects such as the Lodz Ghetto Project through the USHMM and the Smithsonian Transcription Center. Furthermore, I find the digitization of museum collections very interesting.